UC Berkeley German Department – Language Program
If you have no prior exposure to German, you should start in German 1 (5 units). No matter what your motives for taking the language might be, our communicative approach will quickly bring you up to a reasonable level of proficiency in all four foreign language skills (Reading, writing, speaking, and listening), while exposing you to the links between language and culture and to the world of great thinkers and writers such as Nietzsche, Freud and Kafka. We hope that your experience in this course will motivate you to continue our language sequence in German 2, 3 and 4 (all courses can also be taken in an intensive workshop format in the summer on campus or in Germany).
If you have had two years or less of high school German or simply want to brush up on prior basic knowledge, you should enroll in German 2. Even though you may have some gaps and some things may already sound familiar to you, German 2 is a good starting point to re-acquaint yourself with the language and hopefully be motivated to continue our language sequence in German 3 and 4.
Students of German in High Schools or otherwise continuing
Congratulations! Now you can take advantage of your prior achievements and continue with your German at a higher level – possibly you are only a few classes away from fulfilling the language requirement for a minor, major, or double major! Please start by placing yourself according to the guidelines below and attending the recommended course at the beginning of the semester. You might also want to go to the university bookstore before classes start and look at the texts for the courses you’re considering? This might give you a sense for the level (In German 1, we cover through Chapter 6 of Welten; German 2 is Chapters 7-12, in German 3 we cover chapters 1-6 of Stationen and chapters 7-12 in German 4). If you’re unsure after the first class or two, consult with the instructor and, if necessary, the Language Program Coordinator. Since we have a vested interest in making your foreign language learning experience a successful one, you can always change the level of course that you’re attending as long as your schedule allows and you do so by the beginning of the second week.
|1 year or less of High School German||German 1|
after placement consultation
with Language Program Coordinator, see below
Please be aware that these are just starting points. If you’ve attended a class and think you might be in the wrong place, consult with your instructor and, if necessary, with the Language Program Coordinator. If you feel that your prior experience with the German language goes beyond the scenarios outlined above (e.g. heritage learner, study-abroad participation, etc.) and are planning to take an upper-division course, you must contact the Language Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a personal placement advising appointment. To further advance your language skills, we also invite you to
- become a regular at the weekly Stammtisch (Friday afternoons, location TBA) or Kaffeeklatsch (in the German Department library 5337 (Level E) Dwinelle) and the German Film Series.
- visit our website regularly and surf the net to exercise those “German muscles” in your brain. You can find anything from German press to German pop music, interactive grammar exercises and e-mail partnerships